Bokor Resort, the highest resort in Cambodia located near the coastline will be inaugurated to welcome tourists from all destinations by this end 2011 while the road climbing to the plateau’s peak and other tourism structure is about to complete, Kampot Governer said.
Kampot Governor H.E. Khoy Khun Hour, as quoted by a local newspaper said that Bokor Resort can be inaugurated by end this year, and it will be officiated by Cambodian Prime Minister Samdach Hun Sen.
Within this eight months (counted on August 25, 2011), 701,256 local tourists and 3,695 international tourists visited Bokor resort alone, according to the Nnan Bunarith, information official, Kampot Tourism Department.
Like a sleeping giant, with 1,079 meters height above sea level, Bokor Mountain sticks with stunning landscapes mixing by gentle cool weather all year around like Europe with clouds flying around as heaven.
On the mountain peak people can see the amazing landscape of Sihanoukville Province if they look on the west. If they turn to the east, people can majestically overlook the coastal towns of Kampot and Kep provinces. In the vicinity of moving- around cloud geographic area” move- round cloud “Por Pok Vel” where is home to the three-phase waterfall is recognized as an unforgettable relaxing waterfall in the Kingdom.
On the top, stands a former casino resort surrounded by a large virgin coniferous forest where is habituated by tigers, Banteng, Gaur, Elephants, Asian Black Bears and many other large mammals which are nearly extinctive,” according to the text-book entitled Eco-Tourism published by National University of Management (NUM) in 2006.
Previously, the site was not opened to the public, only members of royal families; the French’s and the aristocrats were allowed to enter, while normal people would not be allowed to step on this heaven- like resort.
But today the place is opened for the general public not only Cambodians but also tourists around the globe.
Despite the site is normally opened at weekend, the company still welcome domestic and inbound tourists during day-off, national holidays, and international holidays on this Europe-like land, which has only one in Cambodia.
It should be remarked that during the 2011 Khmer New Year Celebration, Bokor Mount resort received 47,846 tourists (47,469 Khmer visitors and 377 inbound tourists) of which the amount was doubly increased comparing to same period in 2010 with only 21,893 tourists.
5,667 cars and 1,556 motorcycles were reported by the authority as climbing continuously within the three days opening of New Year day.
So far, the site is under the development project conducted by SOKIMEX Group; the company had promised to transform this unique 5 square kilometer picturesque mountain plateau into a resort for international and local tourists alike.
This US$1 billion development project is taken up 15 years term including:
- A five-star hotel
- Bokor resort,
- Bokor Fantasyland
- Bungee Jumping
- Buddha Religion Land
- Bokor Golf Course
- Bokor Casino,
- Other Boker facilities, in addition to the cool lush forest surroundings, and vegetable & fruit plantations, according to the report from the government.
Besides, the company has been building a climb-up concrete road (seven meters wide and 33 kilometers long up to the peak) cost US$20 millions, taken 30 months to complete and it will be ready for use by this September. Moreover, the firm will also refurbish the top plateau’s infrastructures that have been laid in ruin.
“It is a big investment, a difficult investment, and it will define me, “Tycoon Sok Kong, Chairman of SOKIMEX Group said during the construction ground-breaking ceremony in 2008.
Anyway, Prime Minister Hun Sen said early this month that the government plans to transform the coastal provinces into another potential pole of eco-tourism growth, where deep sea port in Sihanoukville is not far to arrive.
Tann Ratha, 35, a first-time Cambodian visitor to Bokor resort felt over-excited to step on the ground where she noticed steamy cloud flying around her body.
“It is as if I enter the heaven by manipulating the gentle breath air while seeing and feeling steamy cloud touches my body. I love the gentle cold weather here even it is now in April, the hottest month in Cambodia, the weather here is always cold,” Ratha said.
She also feels safe and enjoyable to travel along the 33 kilometers newly constructed road upward to the peak. “Previously, it is difficult to reach the place with the traffic accident often occur, but now the road is much safer and easier.”
Bokor resort, a tropical area and forestry region is located in Kampot province, stretching about 33 kilometers from provincial towns with a height of 1,101 meters.
The resort is a special part of Bokor National Park which is the oldest park to be founded before 1920 under the royal approval by His Majesty King Sisovath on April 13 1922.
Later His Majesty King Norodom Sihanouk reconstructed the park again in 1961. During that time, Bokor resort was recognized as the well-known recreation place of Cambodian southern tourist zone for locals and internationals.
It should be highlighted that there are seven national parks in Cambodia:
- Kirirom – National Park with 35,000 square hectares in land lies along Kompong Speu and Kong Kong,
- Bokor Resort – National Park with its 140, 000 square hectares lies in Kompot,
- Kep National Park with 5,000 square hectares in Kep,
- Ream – National Park with 21,000 square hectares in Sihanoukville,
- Botom Sakor – National Park with 171,250 square hectares in Koh Kong
- Phnom Kulen – National Park with 37,500 square hectares in Siem Reap
- Virachey – National Park with its largest territorial size of 332,500 square hectares stretching along Stung Treng, and Ratanakiri province.